PTC review: ‘Media has a tremendous influence in shaping how individuals think about the world; and this influence is even greater over children. One of the most harmful, and certainly saddest, examples is the influence which the fashion industry has over young girls. Incessantly bombarded by sexualized imagery and messages direct and indirect encouraging promiscuous behavior and telling them that “to be beautiful, you must look a certain way,” today’s girls are increasingly subject to depression, low self-esteem, body image disorders and even dangerous behaviors like bulimia.
Cover Girl Culture: Awakening the Media Generation exposes the deceptive imagery and practices of teen-targeted fashion magazines like Teen Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and others. A feature-length documentary by filmmaker Nicole Clark – herself a former Elite International fashion model – Cover Girl Culture explores how the worlds of fashion, modeling, advertising and celebrity impact our teens and young women. Featuring interviews with teen fashion magazine editors, the film compares the supposedly “healthy” and “joyful” images presented by their models with the pictures run in the magazines themselves. It also offers – and encourages – conversations among actual teen girls about the implications of such imagery, helps them to consider the ways in which fashion and advertising attempt to manipulate them, and encourages girls to reject the misogynistic messages in the media they consume and embrace themselves as they are.
There is no harmful content in Cover Girl Culture. Many examples of models and magazine photo layouts are shown, and some of these show young girls in lingerie or sexy poses; but the purpose of these images is educational, to demonstrate how the fashion and advertising industries sell sex and distorted body image to our children, in the cause of teaching girls to understand and fight against such objectification. All of the pictures shown are images from actual fashion magazines, and none contain explicit nudity or sex.
Because of this film’s brilliant expose of the harmful influences of media, and for the ways in which it encourages teens to reject such influences, the Parents Television Council is proud to award Cover Girl Culture with the PTC Seal of ApprovalTM. The PTC recommends this DVD for every parent of a young or teenage girl, and for children over the age of eight.’ – Christoper Gildemeister, Parent’s Television Council.